Like countless other industries and departments, customer support has undergone a massive transformation. Today I am excited to share more about how IBM is expanding its collaboration with NICE, launching a new integration that allows users to connect AI-powered virtual agents with their call center in a matter of minutes.

It sounds funny to talk about “the evolution of the contact center” when so few of us give customer support a second thought, until it’s a nightmare. Think back though, 10 or even as recent as 5 years ago, what was your expectation of support? More than likely it was a 1-800 number with a looping elevator-esque melody where, eventually you are met with an agent you hope can solve your issue. Fast forward to today, how do you interact with brands? Or more aptly, what is your expectation of support? If you’re like most people, the days of trying to outwit an IVR by pushing “0” over and over are a thing of the past and you expect brands to not only be available on the channel of your choice but also able to solve your problem in the best way given your specific situation.  At IBM we have seen our clients respond to these new expectations by shifting their strategy from one of “customer support” to one of “customer care”.

To keep pace with changing customer expectations and support these new “always-on”, personalized experiences, more and more companies are embracing cloud and AI to help modernize their call centers. As leaders in conversational AI platforms and contact center as a service, IBM and NICE are working together to make it even simpler to build, deploy and scale AI-powered virtual voice agents within your contact center  — without writing a line of code. Even small and medium firms can take advantage of this to build contact centers that offer amazing experiences to customers at lower costs.

Here’s how the combined solution works. When someone calls a company to get customer service, IBM watsonx Assistant answers the call and asks how it can help. With market-leading AI it will listen to the caller and find the best answer or take care of a task. If the caller asks to speak a human agent, watsonx Assistant will transfer the caller to agents on the CXone platform and pass along a transcript of the conversation so that the agent can pick up the conversation without making the caller repeat themselves. And, because this integration is out of the box, a non-technical contact center administrator could deploy a watsonx Assistant-powered contact center in as little as a few minutes.

Powerful virtual voice agents, without coding 

watsonx Assistant is a conversational AI platform designed specifically for contact center managers and administrators. It has a simple interface and offers an easy method to create human-like dialog to automate customer interactions and help callers solve their problems. Unlike other solutions in this space, it doesn’t require the expertise, or expense, of developers, AI engineers or data scientists. Customer care experts are able to build conversation flows, or actions, and watsonx Assistant’s powerful natural language understanding and AI take care of the rest.

watsonx Assistant can also easily connect to the company’s back-end systems —customer relationship management platforms, databases, and customer-support ticketing systems. This lets the administrators create virtual agents that can do more than just talk, handling complex use cases and tasks that require customer record retrievals, document searches, or creation of support tickets — right from the intuitive, low code experience.

What’s more, you can then connect watsonx Assistant to CXone without the need for setting up telephony infrastructure or writing custom code. Set up and configuration takes 10 minutes even for novices.

Connect, anticipate and delight with CXone

Part of the IBM Ecosystem, NICE’s collaboration with IBM combines the companies’ strengths to help solve the most complex challenges in business and society for clients with hybrid cloud and AI. NICE CXone is a worldwide leader in AI-powered self-service and agent-assisted CX software for the contact center, and beyond. Imagine the possibilities when your customers are effortlessly guided to quickly resolve their needs directly on your digital properties or matched with a well-prepared agent. Plus, with predictive analytics and embedded artificial intelligence (AI), your team can resolve issues faster, personalize each experience, and forge deeper loyalty with each customer.

With its comprehensive platform combining digital entry points, journey orchestration, smart self-service, prepared agents, complete performance, artificial intelligence- all embedded with purpose-build CX AI and based on a native open cloud foundation, NICE CXone provides innovation that customers have come to rely on to enhance and transform their customer experiences every time, on every channel–in the contact center and beyond.

Get started today

Existing NICE CXone customers who want watsonx Assistant can get started in minutes:

The process is code-free and takes about an hour to have an impressive virtual agent answering calls. Or learn more about the partnership and schedule time with one of our experts that can help you understand the benefits your team could see.

Learn more

Join the webinar to hear how IBM and NICE can help you transform customer experiences.

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